How to decorate a bedroom with a dormer

Updated March 23, 2017

Many attic conversions and top floor apartments contain bedrooms with slanted dormer ceilings. These architectural elements can be a challenge for people who want to create a functional yet stylish bedroom decor scheme. Fortunately, you can employ a few strategies to make your bedroom space with dormers feel larger and more functional.

Eliminate clutter and objects too large for your bedroom. Bedrooms with dormer ceilings require a clean, streamlined look to make the most of the space. Large furniture should not block windows, natural light or the flow of traffic in the room.

Maximise the bedroom's design potential. Dormer ceilings and slanted walls can cut down on valuable natural light, so compensate by adding a window, skylight or solar tubes. Built-in shelves or cabinets can be used to frame a doorway or to make functional and decorative use of the thin strip of wall under a slanted ceiling.

Paint dormer ceilings and bedroom walls with hues and finishes that create the illusion of volume. Cool tones, with a paler hue on the ceiling than on the surrounding walls, make surfaces appear to recede. Consider colours such as grey, periwinkle, pale yellow, sea foam green or white with blue undertones. A satin or semigloss finish on the ceiling, door frame and window frames reflects light throughout the bedroom.

Select furnishings with low profiles and minimal ornamentation. Mid-century modern furniture, with its low-slung frames and angular designs, works well in rooms with dormer ceilings. Likewise, outdoor furniture such as wicker couches, bistro tables and cafe chairs tend to have slender frames. Take advantage of long horizontal spaces by installing low, long cabinets beside the wall.

Create storage systems that suit the space. Flexible storage such as lidded baskets can tuck under sloping ceilings. A tall, narrow bookcase can stand perpendicular to the wall and separate the bed from the rest of the room.

Decorate walls rather than filling them with heavy framed artwork. Wall decals or stencils give a wall graphic pop without hanging precariously from a sloping wall.


Incorporate uplighting from wall sconces or floor lamps to properly illuminate the narrow spaces in a bedroom with dormer ceilings.

Things You'll Need

  • Architectural elements
  • Paint
  • Furniture
  • Storage containers
  • Wall decals or stencils
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About the Author

Nina Makofsky has been a professional writer for more than 20 years. She specializes in art, pop culture, education, travel and theater. She currently serves as a Mexican correspondent for "Aishti Magazine," covering everything from folk art to urban trends. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.